Thursday, July 18, 2013

DS9: For The Uniform

I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with Michael Eddington. When he first showed up at the opening of the fourth season I remember cursing at him, remote in hand, calling him a jag and telling him how much I hated him and then rewinding because I'd been yelling over the scene. Then he betrayed Starfleet and the Federation and Sisko and Sisko's girlfriend and did a lot of messed up stuff (like sabotaging the Defiant) and Sisko got a serious grudge going. If it weren't for all the overt Les Miserables comparisons I'd be sitting here talking about Moby Dick again.

Oh Eddington, you magnificent bastard. 
But, Ronald Moore and the gang saved me the trouble and in For The Uniform literally have Eddington give Sisko a copy of his very favorite novel so we can all understand that Eddington sees himself as the long-suffering, ever-justified Valjean and Sisko as the relentless Javert.

In a lot of ways, For the Uniform is a microcosm of what DS9 is and how it breaks from traditional Trek. Michael Eddington understands that (even in the future where humans have replicators and very little poverty) there are still shades of grey. Eddington is a terrorist but he doesn't see himself as such because while Sisko is chugging along under the Starfleet good/bad, black/white modus operandi, Eddington exclusively inhabits the shades of grey. He sees himself as a roguish heroic outlaw--a Robin Hood who protects the less fortunate, the innocents who have fallen out of the Federation's good graces. He sees the Federation alliance with the Cardassians as wrong-headed and dangerous and is comfortable with betraying Starfleet because of that.

Sisko is angry and yells (a lot, as usual) about how Eddington was a trusted friend. How he wasn't a changeling or an alien with superior powers of deception--Eddington was just a man, just a human. And it was that human that beat him.

As Sisko pursues Eddington he too crosses into those shades of grey, ignoring the tenants of Starfleet and going off half-cocked, risking the lives of his crew in the process. It's something that Picard certainly never would have done. And, as a kid, it's something I didn't especially like about DS9. I love how optimistic Star Trek is--how they've always portrayed a better version of us, a more enlightened version of humanity. As an adult, I appreciate DS9 a little more. Not because I want to sit around and brood, but because sometimes it's good to be reminded that we're all human and life, even in the future, isn't as clear cut as we might wish it to be.


  1. Great post! (I do love when you make Moby Dick references. Then again, I'm biased!)

  2. This took me back to my days of watching DS9 it was me who talked my sister into watching it she didn't think she would like the show but it hooked her in as it does true fans.......


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...